Closing Thought–12Mar19

I have listened to our Beloved Leader on many occasions and his use of simplistic language leads me believe that he has NO grasp on complex ideas or thoughts.

My daughter and I were discussing our Beloved Leader and I told her that he says he is a”really smart person” but I think that if he is a grad of Wharton, probably the 2nd best business school, then daddy bought his degree.

Then I read something his professor i marketing had to say about student Trump……

Donald J. Trump was an undergraduate student at Wharton for the latter two of his college years, having graduated in 1968

Professor Kelley told me 100 times over three decades that “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.” I remember his emphasis and inflection — it went like this: “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.” Kelley told me this after Trump had become a celebrity, but long before he was considered a political figure. Kelley often referred to Trump’s arrogance when he told the story that Trump came to Wharton thinking he already knew everything. 

https://www.alternet.org/2017/10/former-wharton-professor-trump-was-dumbest-gddam-student-i-ever-had/

I knew it!

Who needs to study hard to get ahead when Daddy has money and the school needs a new classroom?

 

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Take a moment and wax nostalgic…….a song from my youth…..ah the memories!

But in this case it is not some song from my past but rather a proposal from 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren……

She has a proposal to break-up giants like amazon, Google and Facebook……along the lines of the break-up of AT&T in the 1980s into regional entities……

Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan for how to break up the nation’s technology behemoths on Friday. 

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts, who’s seeking the Democratic nomination for president, laid out her proposal in a Medium post entitled “Here’s How We Can Break Up Big Tech.” In the post, Warren argued that it’s essential to crack down on the unfair market advantage enjoyed by Amazon, Facebook, and Google in order to boost competition and fuel innovation.

Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout praised the plan, calling it as a sign that a “new anti-monopoly movement is happening, and Warren is coming out swinging at the right targets!” Agreeing with Warren, she added, “The big tech monsters are conglomerates with too much power that they use to extract wealth and data from all us of us as if we are subjects in their feudal regimes.”

 
Personally, I like the idea…..but if her consumer protection agency from the 2000s is any indication this will nit go very far…….if the Senate does not crap on the proposal then the big money donors will chip away at it until it is just a shadow of the original proposal.
 
Elizabeth Warren wants a fair playing field in the marketplace—and she’s going after Big Tech to make it happen. “To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies,” she said in a statement Friday, per the New York Times. Her plan to bust up giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon is a two-tiered one: First, large firms with annual global revenue of $25 billion or more that offer an online marketplace or other type of platform that connects third parties would have to “structurally separate” their products from that marketplace. What that means, for example, is that if you do a Google search for a restaurant, Google can’t give its own ratings priority over, say, Yelp’s, notes Vox.
 
The second tier—companies with annual revenue between $90 million and $25 billion—wouldn’t be subject to that same sort of product-marketplace separation, but they would have to adhere to certain fair-use regulations. Another big move Warren’s plan is pushing for: reversing some recent mergers that the 2020 presidential candidate says cut down down healthy competition, including Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, as well as Amazon scooping up Whole Foods. This move, Warren says, “will put pressure on big tech companies to be more responsive to user concerns, including about privacy.” Critics commenting on Warren’s proposal fear such a plan could lead to the “weaponizing” of antitrust laws (lawmakers could go after companies they don’t like), per the Times, or reduce convenience for consumers, Ars Technica notes
 
This is fascinating……I want to see where it will go……I like it, as I have said…..this should have been done years ago…..
 
Any thoughts out there?

Summits: Garbage In, Garbage Out

Our Beloved Supreme Leader just had a horrible and unproductive meeting (some call it a “summit”) with North Korea’s Kim…..but to listen to his rhetoric it was a success with the Dems trying to hang some criminality around his neck……but what of the so-called “summits”…….

Let’s step back to the beginning……

As far as is known, the first professional diplomatic corps appeared in the Byzantine Empire following the collapse of Rome in 476 AD. Byzantium established the world’s first department of foreign affairs, developed strict and complex diplomatic protocols, and actively sought intelligence about friend and enemy alike. Surrounded by enemies, Byzantium needed all the skill in diplomacy it could muster.

The art of diplomacy was carried to the next higher (some might say lower) plane in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Italian city-states of the era engaged in constant intrigues against each other. During this era, diplomacy became identified with behind-the-scenes scheming, duplicity, and double-dealing. Niccolo Machiavelli of Florence, whom many consider the father of “realist” views of the international system, stressed in his book The Prince (1532) that rulers should use whatever means they had at their disposal to stay in power.

https://www.diplomaticourier.com/from-ancient-greek-diplomacy-to-modern-summitry/

Summits and summitry have their uses in a modern foreign policy…a constructive foreign policy (there’s the rub….we, the US, no longer has a constructive foreign policy)…….

It should not be regarded as an instant elixir for the assuagement of crises to dissimulate relief from the realities of inter-governmental ailment (1979, p. 186).

To begin with, this essay will discuss both on some of the possible strengths and flaws of the different types summits. It also argues on how summitry can be infused as a tool of a constructive means of diplomacy and it will also unearth some factors that could help determine the success of summits. The first part of this essay discusses on how summitry could be a tool in the engagement of public diplomacy and followed by with an insight on how timing is crucial in initiating a summit. Meanwhile, the second part of this essay details on how summitry could provide an opportunity for state leaders to administrate and show their capabilities in winning a summit.

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/politics/summitry-analysis-diplomacy-7750.ph

This is where the Trump summits go off the rail…..a summit should NOT be an elixir for a solution to whatever problem it tries to address.

And yet Trump himself billed his “summits” as a solution to North Korea’s rush to nuke weapons…..

So far nothing but a few exchanged “love” between the two leaders and the search for nukes continued…

Summits are a diplomatic tool not necessarily the end of the search of solutions to problems….something someone needs to teach to our president….maybe then he would stop embarrassing the country on the world stage.

Hispaniola: Caribbean Enigma

The violence that has plagued Haiti in the last month got me to thinking about the island nation….Haiti has been devastated by an earthquake…..the government (no matter who leads) is always hit with corruption……the people protest and the government reacts with violence and then it snowballs from there….it is a never ending cycle and the people of Haiti, the poorest in the region, always pay the price.

The so-called Core Group is made up of the head of UN Mission MINUJUSTH, Helen Meagher La Lime; and the UN ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union, the United States, and the Special Representative of the Organization of American States.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1032441

They took note of the demands expressed by demonstrators on Thursday, aimed at a worsening economic crisis that has led to a drop in living standards, inflation at around 15 per cent, a growing national deficit, and allegations of corruption levelled at President Jovenel Moise, before he took office.

As I read about the situation in Haiti…this one tried to explain the return of violence…..

It began with demonstrations last summer in July and August, re-emerged in November and December, and exploded again in the first two weeks of February when hundreds of thousands marched in all the major cities of the country, from the capital of Port-au-Prince to the northern city of Cap-Haïtien.

The demonstrators demanded an investigation into what happened to billions of dollars of funds from Venezuela, an end to austerity measures and price increases for basic goods, and the resignation of Moïse and his prime minister, Jean-Henry Céant.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/06/why-has-haiti-risen-up-once-again-2/

This got the grey matter fired up……Haiti shares an island with the Dominican Republic…….

Half of the island speaks a form of French and the other half speaks Spanish……Haiti is dirt poor and unstable the Dominican Republic is fairly prosperous and stable……

I short video can explain it better than my words plus most had rather watch than read…..

It is amazing that there can be two so different nations just miles from each other…….and on the very same island.

The situation on the island is something that can keep us International Relations geeks busy looking for and then the explanations of how this development took place so close together without influencing one another. But research is what we do.

I will leave it there for “experts” in the region to offer their pronouncements…..I shall return to the Middle East where events are more predictable than on Hispaniola.